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View Full Version : AAFES (& DECA) Price Gouging Tobacco Prices



Class5Kayaker
06-12-2014, 02:06 PM
OK,

So I have a bad habit of chewing Red Man and my wife is a smoker. I go through about 3 boxes of chew a month (10 pouches in a box) and my wife goes through 2 cartons of cigarettes a month.

Yesterday I went to the commissary to buy another box of chew. The commissary gets its tobacco through AAFES and does not set the prices (AAFES does). The prices at the commissary have always been a little bit lower than the BX/Shoppette, etc. but not all that much (single pouch of chew at commissary was $4.80 and like $5.20 at AAFES {I think}). We normally buy our tobacco at the commissary just because they stock large quantities and we don't deplete them of their entire stock (I could easily wipe out the shopette if I asked for an entire box of chew).

Anyway, here at Hurlburt and Eglin (I checked both locations) they just jacked their rate for chew up 75% literally overnight!! A box of chew went from $48 to $84 before the normal 5% surcharge. I was abit shocked and the cashier said everyone was getting pissed off because they did similar price increases on all their tobacco prices. They also jacked up their prices at all the AAFES locations on the two bases (I confirmed this). It's now cheaper to buy tobaco at any off-base gas station convenience store (which always has the highest prices) than it is on base!! And it's definitely cheaper to buy it at places like Walmart, etc.

Florida didn't just increase their tobacco taxes (and I don't think AAFES had to pay them in the first place), so that's not why they increased it. I suspect it has to do with the military's push to get people to quit using tobacco. It's that or AAFES just doesn't want to sell it anymore and they figure if their sales drop enough because of their new prices that they can use low sales as their justification to quit stocking it.

Anyone else experiencing this at their bases? I think this is worthy of an AF Times investigative article. What's next? $18 six-packs of beer at the Class-VI in an effort to reduce DUIs?

And yes, whatever the reason....we are seriously considering quitting now. It's not that we can't afford it, but it's just not worth it at these prices. $450 a month for tobacco between the two of us is absolutely ridiculous! That's a nice car payment.

You win Big Blue.....you win. Well played.......:mad:

Absinthe Anecdote
06-12-2014, 02:55 PM
OK,

So I have a bad habit of chewing Red Man and my wife is a smoker. I go through about 3 boxes of chew a month (10 pouches in a box) and my wife goes through 2 cartons of cigarettes a month.


Dude, that is so gross sounding that I could barely read your entire post. Sorry, I can't have much sympathy for you because the price of tobacco just skyrocketed.

I sincerely hope you guys can quit without too much trouble.

As a consolation, I offer to you one of my very best childhood stories.

My grandfather was a chewer of Redman, he always had a pouch of it in his pocket. One sunny summer afternoon, my sister and I got into his Ford Galaxy to ride into town. Luckily, I called shotgun and was in the front seat with him and my sister was sitting in the backseat behind him.

You know where this is going, don't you?

He spat an enormous amount of the vile brown juice out the window that was promptly blown back into the car, right into my sister's face.

I can only describe my elation at witnessing this as winning the lottery. If you've ever seen one of those morons on The Price is Right, win a new car, well you have an idea as to how happy and excited I was to have this happen.

Redman is truly gross, just ask my sister. :)


Good luck quitting!

CYBERFX1024
06-12-2014, 03:18 PM
I am like the op above I feel no sympathy for people that complain about the price of tobacco. It is a very distasteful and disgusting habit and this is coming from a guy who grew up in NC around tobacco. Pretty much most of my family smoked at one time and my x-wife is a smoker. I just grew to detest it because the cigarettes control the person, not the other way around. Also it stinks and it makes everything that they smoke around stink as well. I hate going to my parents house now to drop by because my father still smokes and the house just reeks of it.

The good thing is that my mother who smoked for over 40 years quit this year at the age of 56. She occasionally has a set back but she is happier now that she quit.

Also why are you going to throw away that much money a day/month/year? If you contributed how much a pack of cigs/dip is day/month/year into a retirement fund then by the time you retire (if you started early) then you could have a nice chunk of money.

socal1200r
06-12-2014, 03:41 PM
Dude, chewing and smoking is a damn nasty habit, so I don't think you're going to find much sympathy in here. If jacking up the prices like that is what it takes to get folks like you and your wife to quit, then it's all good. If you don't like the prices on base, like you said, there are plenty of other places to buy your poison of choice.

Measure Man
06-12-2014, 04:08 PM
OK,

So I have a bad habit of chewing Red Man and my wife is a smoker. I go through about 3 boxes of chew a month (10 pouches in a box) and my wife goes through 2 cartons of cigarettes a month.

Yesterday I went to the commissary to buy another box of chew. The commissary gets its tobacco through AAFES and does not set the prices (AAFES does). The prices at the commissary have always been a little bit lower than the BX/Shoppette, etc. but not all that much (single pouch of chew at commissary was $4.80 and like $5.20 at AAFES {I think}). We normally buy our tobacco at the commissary just because they stock large quantities and we don't deplete them of their entire stock (I could easily wipe out the shopette if I asked for an entire box of chew).

Anyway, here at Hurlburt and Eglin (I checked both locations) they just jacked their rate for chew up 75% literally overnight!! A box of chew went from $48 to $84 before the normal 5% surcharge. I was abit shocked and the cashier said everyone was getting pissed off because they did similar price increases on all their tobacco prices. They also jacked up their prices at all the AAFES locations on the two bases (I confirmed this). It's now cheaper to buy tobaco at any off-base gas station convenience store (which always has the highest prices) than it is on base!! And it's definitely cheaper to buy it at places like Walmart, etc.

Florida didn't just increase their tobacco taxes (and I don't think AAFES had to pay them in the first place), so that's not why they increased it. I suspect it has to do with the military's push to get people to quit using tobacco. It's that or AAFES just doesn't want to sell it anymore and they figure if their sales drop enough because of their new prices that they can use low sales as their justification to quit stocking it.

Anyone else experiencing this at their bases? I think this is worthy of an AF Times investigative article. What's next? $18 six-packs of beer at the Class-VI in an effort to reduce DUIs?

And yes, whatever the reason....we are seriously considering quitting now. It's not that we can't afford it, but it's just not worth it at these prices. $450 a month for tobacco between the two of us is absolutely ridiculous! That's a nice car payment.

You win Big Blue.....you win. Well played.......:mad:

AAFES stopped selling cigars 2-3 years ago. I guess they still do the machine-made glorified cigarette ones like Dutch Masters or Titans...but the Shoppettes used to have a humidor with, not great cigars, but smokable in a pinch. I suspect you're right though...AAFES wants to get out of the Tobacco business, or someone wants to get them out of the Tobacco business and the high prices are designed to do that.

If you want to continue using...I'd suggest looking online. I buy cigars online at a fraction of the cost of local retailers. I think Famous Cigar and Tobacco sells chew.

I've never chewed or smoked cigarettes, so I can't talk to the addiction part of it. For awhile, I was on a fairly regular cigar habit that can get kind of expensive and I decided I'd rather not spend that much on cigars. But, I've never felt addicted to them...it was more of just a hobby that I could do when I had time for, but didn't have to. So, I cut back to where I typically have one cigar per week, on the weekends. I set aside an hour or so with a nice drink and nice cigar. I've found that not only do I spend way less...I enjoy the cigar way more as it is more of a special treat than an everyday habit. If I'm doing something like camping I might have more in a weekend.

As for the rest of the posters...I believe it's important to take some pleasures in life. Smoking a cigar, for me, is akin to eating a nice meal in a fancy restaurant. Yes, there are more practical ways to spend your money, and eating a 16 oz. steak is probably not that good for you, but you should enjoy life while you can. I did not even start smoking until my 40s. Again, not talking to the addiction of cigarettes or something, I can imagine the problems there and I know people who have to have that cigarette every few hours. I can always take it or leave it, it's just something I enjoy.

BENDER56
06-12-2014, 05:38 PM
I am like the op above ...

I'm not the most tech savvy person in the world but I always thought "OP" meant, "original poster." In this case, Class5Kayaker, not Absinthe Anecdote.

Absinthe Anecdote
06-12-2014, 05:45 PM
I'm not the most tech savvy person in the world but I always thought "OP" meant, "original poster." In this case, Class5Kayaker, not Absinthe Anecdote.

I just had a visual image of the OP going down Class 5 rapids with a half pouch of Redman in his mouth.

I'll bet his life jacket is brown.

sandsjames
06-12-2014, 06:25 PM
I'll try answering your question without bitching about how nasty the habit is since their answers are non-productive and nothing you haven't heard 1000 times.

I believe it's a push to discourage people from using tobacco on base. Like all other attempts to do so (limiting tobacco use areas, banning it at AETC bases for students, etc) it will fail. All that's going to happen is AAFES will lose money.

The only advice I have (since saying "QUITE" has no effect on a user) is to just buy it off base.

Absinthe Anecdote
06-12-2014, 06:35 PM
I'll try answering your question without bitching about how nasty the habit is since their answers are non-productive and nothing you haven't heard 1000 times.

I believe it's a push to discourage people from using tobacco on base. Like all other attempts to do so (limiting tobacco use areas, banning it at AETC bases for students, etc) it will fail. All that's going to happen is AAFES will lose money.

The only advice I have (since saying "QUITE" has no effect on a user) is to just buy it off base.

Wow! I am so impressed at how superior you are to the rest of us judgmental cretins.

Would you like a peacock feather to wear in your hat so everyone will know how special you are?

I have a few extra, I don't mind letting you have one, or would you like to "just be" and let your superior outlook on social matters exude from the top of your head invisibly?

hustonj
06-12-2014, 06:49 PM
I don't know if this is an active attempt to discourage tobaccoo use, or if Congress managed to pass a law similar to the one they passed about military exchange gas stations.

Once a week, the base performs a survey of all gas stations within a specific radius of the base, finds the average local price, and sets the pumps to that price until the next weekly survey. Since it is the average price, unless commercial gas prices are going up fairly quickly afterwards, you can easily find prices off-base lower than those on base.

That law about gasoline was passed because the gas stations formed a lobby and demanded that the military exchange stop undercutting them (since the military exchange doesn't have to charge Federal or local taxes on the gasoline).

Again, I don't know if that's what happened here or not, but the precedent is very well established.

And as somebody who has never used tobaccoo, I don't think I'm likely to ever care, but that's another story.

CYBERFX1024
06-12-2014, 07:28 PM
I'm not the most tech savvy person in the world but I always thought "OP" meant, "original poster." In this case, Class5Kayaker, not Absinthe Anecdote.

Sorry about that. I gotta watch out the Pronunciation Nazis.

Class5Kayaker
06-12-2014, 08:04 PM
All,

I know it's a bad habit that most think is nasty. I admitted that it was a bad habit in my first post. And for what it's worth, I'm a pretty indescreet "chewer" and most folks don't even know I use tobacco. I'm not the sterotypical image most have of a redneck driving a lifted white chevy truck with tobaco stains down the side. Actually, I'm quite the opposite and many folks think I have OCD (I probably do) with how clean I keep my house, office, vehicles, etc.

Anyway, my whole point was they nearly doubled the price overnight. If AAFES did that for alcohol when there wasn't a corresponding market price increase or other reason to explain it everyone would be up in arms. It's our personal choice to use tobacco, and it's not illegal.

And I know what some of you are probably planning on posting as a reply, "It's a free market so they can set whatever price they want." I know that, and that's why we're choosing to quit. Although the prices are cheaper off-base now, they aren't really much cheaper than what AAFES/DECA is now charging and the off-base prices are too expensive in my opinion too.


Also why are you going to throw away that much money a day/month/year? If you contributed how much a pack of cigs/dip is day/month/year into a retirement fund then by the time you retire (if you started early) then you could have a nice chunk of money.

The same could be said about going out to the movies, eating dinner out, high-speed internet service at your home, cable TV, 60" Flat Screen TVs, etc. Almost everyone has something they enjoy that that they splurge on that others shake their head and say "you could have saved your money on that and invested it instead." We are extremely secure financially. But this doubling of price has made us both decide it's time to quit; and that while it was worth "splurging on our vice" at the old price(s), it's not worth the new price(s). Just like if your local movie theater doubled the price of tickets tomorrow, you might decide that even though you can still afford to go it's just not worth paying $24 each to see something on the big screen.


AAFES stopped selling cigars 2-3 years ago. I guess they still do the machine-made glorified cigarette ones like Dutch Masters or Titans...but the Shoppettes used to have a humidor with, not great cigars, but smokable in a pinch. I suspect you're right though...AAFES wants to get out of the Tobacco business, or someone wants to get them out of the Tobacco business and the high prices are designed to do that.

Hurlburt still has a nice walk-in humidor and it's in a fairly new shopette (so it wasn't a carry-over from the "good-'ol days"). They carry pretty decent cigars too (as decent as you can find in any cigar store without being able to get Cubans). I haven't checked the prices of cigars yet though to see if they jumped up drastically like chew, dip, and cigarettes have.


I'll try answering your question without bitching about how nasty the habit is since their answers are non-productive and nothing you haven't heard 1000 times.

I believe it's a push to discourage people from using tobacco on base. Like all other attempts to do so (limiting tobacco use areas, banning it at AETC bases for students, etc) it will fail. All that's going to happen is AAFES will lose money.

The only advice I have (since saying "QUITE" has no effect on a user) is to just buy it off base.

Thanks for not lecturing me or telling me how gross it is. I get that enough from "hollier than thou" prior tobacco users, during my annual PHA, and annual dental exams.

Thanks also for actualy giving your opinion on why they might have increased the prices so much so quickly.

sandsjames
06-12-2014, 08:04 PM
Wow! I am so impressed at how superior you are to the rest of us judgmental cretins.

Would you like a peacock feather to wear in your hat so everyone will know how special you are?

I have a few extra, I don't mind letting you have one, or would you like to "just be" and let your superior outlook on social matters exude from the top of your head invisibly?

Let me "just be". You don't need to comment on my posts. I won't be offended.

Stalwart
06-12-2014, 10:34 PM
I looked on Legistorm and CQ and did not see any new legislation that would have caused the shift in pricing.

My instincts are with the previous posters that it may be part of the effort to de-glamorize tobacco use.

I did find this article from last month that talked about some accidental overcharging at AAFES:

STRIPES: http://www.stripes.com/news/some-cigarette-customers-were-overcharged-in-price-hike-at-exchange-stores-1.281895